Meet the Sullivans: January 2018

January 26, 2018

Friday 5: Valentine's, Dark Places and Blush!

Good morning, friends and happy Friday! We're gearing up for a low-key weekend starting with family movie night at home tonight, and almost no other plans all weekend long. Sometimes it's nice to just see where the weekend takes us.

I'm probably curing myself by saying this, but both my boys are still sleeping, so here's my five before they wake up!

ONE A couple weeks ago when all the Valentine's Day stuff started popping up I grabbed these valentine's from the dollar spot at Target for Owen to give his classmates. I think they were $3 a box, and he thinks they're cool, so: Valentine's, CHECK!

TWO Luke and I hit up Trader Joe's after spinning yesterday and I picked up a couple new-to-me items. We have our go to favorite's, but it's fun to pick up the new stuff they have too! I already ripped into the X's & O's gummys (goodbye, calories burned at spinning), and I tried the crispbread with lunch topped with some guacamole (amazing!) and I thought the zucchini spirals would be good to have on hand in the freezer... we'll see if they're comparable to the fresh option.

Tell me what you've picked up lately that's worth trying!

THREE It's been kinda rainy this week, and yesterday on the way into school we spotted a gorgeous, huge rainbow! Maybe even a double rainbow! Owen was so excited to spot it and asked if he could skip school to chase it and find the gold at the end. I love this age!

FOUR The next two people who purchase BlushSense from me will receive this super cute little brush as a gift with purchase! You can email me ( or send me a message in my Xoxo by Colleen Facebook group or Instagram if you're interested!

FIVE I finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn this week, and it was... well, really DARK. Well written, kept me wanting to read more and find out what really happened, but super dark and sad and a bit depressing. I read a lot of it, but also switched back and forth to listening to it too while cleaning or driving (by myself, of course).

Also, I just found out there was a movie made of the book back in 2015... but Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 4.7/10, so maybe it's not worth watching.

I haven't picked up a new book yet, so if you have any rec's send them my way!

You can see where I'm linking up HERE!

January 19, 2018

Friday 5!

Hello, my friends and happy Friday! Blogging two days in a row, whoop whoop! What is this, 2013? Anyway, better get on with this before I get interrupted...

What a quick week that was! MLK on Monday, Keith took the day off Tuesday and Owen's birthday was Thursday. Time flies when you're enjoying yourself and keeping busy!

Yesterday was Owen's 6th birthday! Cue the big ugly tears. He seems so big and grown up lately, and not just because he looks so tall and weighs 50+ lbs, but also in the way he carries himself and the things he says and the way he says them. We're so proud of him and the sweet person he is way deep down in his heart.

His day started with candles, chocolate donuts and a little gift (he got his main gift from us, his fish + tank + etc last week). He celebrated at school with a treat for his class and I got to read a story of his choosing and share a little "Story of Owen" with them along with some pictures. He and I baked a cake together and we had fried chicken (his pick!!) for dinner. This weekend we'll celebrate with a bunch of his friends at a trampoline place!

Bathing suit season, already. Do you feel like Target is trolling you in January when they have a huge section of swimsuits out, but you're still trying to undo all those holiday indulgences? I sure do, but I still bought a suit this week. I've been wearing the same two boring, too big for me now swimsuits the last two summers. I always hope to find a new one, but I wait too long and don't know what to pick so this year I just jumped the gun and bough myself another "mom" bathing suit. It's nothing fancy, but it's cute and keeps all the places covered while I swim with my grabby little boys. It also has built-in support cups, which I appreciate because my other suits have removable ones that always get all wonky looking.
Did I tell you Luke is taking swim lessons? He's 2 and this is his first swim lesson. On the first day of class I confessed to his teacher that this was only the 3rd time he'd been in the pool EVER. Whoops. Owen had been taking swim lessons for a few sessions by this age. We were worried we'd set him up to be scared of the water, but he absolutely LOVES being in the water, prefers to float on his tummy, kicking his legs and blowing bubbles in the water. He's even brave enough to jump into the pool and into my arms!

Baby on the Way! Nope, not mine -- my friend Anne is having her first baby, a little boy! Last weekend her friend Tiffany threw a beautiful shower for her at her home. All the details were lovely and the cake was heavenly. It was so amazing to see so many women come together to shower Anne and her little family with so much love and thoughtful gifts too.

BOOK BOOKS BOOKS I've been a reading machine so far this year. My new year's goal is usually to read more and get back to good eating habits of the holidays. I always set a goal to read one book a month, but by the end of January I'll have finished 3. That's a lot for me, as reading is an automatic sleep inducer for me. I love to read, but it just knocks me out. I think I'll write a post about the ones I've read this month and share my list of the ones I'll be starting afterward.

You can see where I'm linking up HERE!

January 18, 2018

Day in the Life: January 2018

Hey friends! It's been a while since I've documented what a day in our life is like, so for the sake of my own memories I thought it would be fun to do one. These days of our life, when our kids are so little and sweet (and we're exhausted) are the BEST. I want to remember them forever!

This was Thursday, January 11th 2018. I'm 36, Keith is 38, Owen is almost 6 and Luke is 2.

6am Luke has been waking up super early these days. On this day he had me up at 4:45am, but then he fell back to sleep in my arms on the couch. Instead of transferring him back to his crib and risk waking him I decide to just sit and read my book, The Secrets She Keeps. Eventually by 6am he's up so I make coffee for me and a bottle of milk for him and I let him watch an episode of Puppy Dog Pals, because this could be the only peace we have all day.

6:07am Owen wakes up and comes down stairs and goes straight into the toy room to say good morning to his new pet fish, Hunter and Pepper. He named them himself! 

6:30am I make breakfast for the boys (toaster waffles, peanut butter, fruit) and pack Owen's snack for school. Sunflower Butter sandwich, grapes, cutie, pretzels and gummy vitamins. We used the Spencer Bento containers from PBK. Some days he'll eat the entire snack and other days he eats about half of it. His Kindergarten is only half-day, but he eats breakfast at 6:30 and he's at school until about 12:30pm, so he needs a big snack.

7am Luke pretty much always wants to sit in Keith's lap while he eats breakfast and steal bites. How could anyone turn down such a cute little cereal thief!

7:10am We say good-bye to Keith and head up stairs to get everyone dressed for the day. We're heading to the gym so I just put on my Color Correcting Tinted Moisturizer and LipSense lip balm. I'm obsessed with both of these products! The moisturizer takes away any redness and evens out my skin tone just enough so I look normal while not looking like I'm wearing a full face to the gym. 

7:55am We make it to school right on time for the first bell. I've got to applaud us for that because 80% of the time we're running to the classroom a few minutes late.

8:10am Luke and arrive at the gym. I fit in a 20 minute arch trainer workout and 20 minutes of weights before being summonsed back to the childcare for Luke. I never know how long he'll last in there before they call me to come get him. On this day he waltzed right into play, but 40 minutes later he was DONE and wanted to go home.

Turns out he was really tired, because he fell asleep on the way home from the gym.

9:30am With Luke sleeping and Owen at school I get to do one of my favorite things ... take a shower and get ready and dressed for the day in complete peace and quiet! 

After taking my time to get ready I had about 20 minute to fold a few baskets of laundry before Luke was up again. I try to start a load of laundry every morning and then have it folded and put away by bedtime. Some weeks this works really well at keeping me from falling too far behind on the laundry.

11am Luke wakes up! He almost never wakes up happy, poor guy. We make lunch for him (Annie's four cheese mac n cheese, and grapes), and pack Owen a lunch, since we have an errand to run. 

12:25pm We pick up Owen from school and Owen eats in the car while we swing by my sister's office to pick her up. She had he car serviced and needed a ride to pick it up. It's an excuse to see Aunt Dinny and catch up for a few minutes on the drive to Burlingame.

1:20pm After dropping her off we head to the party store to get supplies for Owen's birthday party that's coming up. Does anyone else agree that party stores are SO overpriced? I tried to limit what we purchased, but we still spent about $45 on streamers, confetti and party favors. 

2pm After hitting up the fabric store for tule to tie up the favors with we head home for some down time. We watch a show, play with toys and do some chores around the house

4:00pm We head to the park down the street to burn off some energy! Luke wants to play catch or in the sand and Owen wants me to be the "lava monster" and chase him. After a detour through the gardens we head home to make dinner.

5:35pm I make this dinner (Chicken Drumsticks with Roast Chickpeas) a lot these days because it is one of the only nutritious meals (read: not hot dogs, fries or pizza) that everyone in my family will actually eat! It's also pretty fast and easy. The recipe says to marinate it overnight or for a few hours, but I've been skipping that step lately. 

On this night I rinsed two cans of chickpeas, a big container of cherry tomatoes, and tossed them with some salt and olive oil. Put the drumsticks on top and drizzle a little more olive oil, sprinkle a little more salt and a little of the herbes de provence seasoning. 50 minutes later...

6:20pm Dinner is ready and Keith is home! I sauteed a little spinach with olive oil, garlic and sea salt to serve on the side. Luke LOVED the spinach, which was exciting. Owen requested a "blocker" so as not to have to see our beans or spinach, but he did eat all of his chicken and carrots.

7pm This is when things get busy with the hustle to clean up dinner and dishes etc., while also keeping the kids entertained and catch up with Keith. We try to get them upstairs for a bath soon after dinner is cleaned up. We did bath time, stories and then lights out by 8pm. Right now we're trying to get Luke to fall asleep in his crib with me laying on the floor next to him. On this night it worked! I really don't mind this at all as long as I can read my book while he dozes off.

8pm The kids are finally asleep so we hang out for a little talking, watching some TV and reading before we head to bed too.

So that's a typical school day / night for us these days! Thanks for reading! xoxo

You can see past Day in the Life posts here!

January 16, 2018

Taking an Educational Approach to Summer Camps

It's not even February and I'm already thinking of how we'll fill the long weeks of summer! Everyone knows that if you want in on the coveted summer camp spots you have to start planning well in advance.

In our area there are a few basic places people often send their kids to camp, but they're usually over-priced and reserving a spot usually includes staying up until 12:01am to snatch it -- neither of which are my thing. There are so many great spots to find summer camps for your kids, you just have to think outside the box!

I've been doing a little research and here are a few places you can look for camps and ideas with an educational approach to fun!

1. STEM Camps - STEM camps, like the ones offered at Snapology in the summer, promote creative play, teamwork and social skills through activities geared toward Science, Technology, Engineering and Snapology are engaged a variety of theme-focused activities while learning engineering and math principles. Snapology’s goal is to put purpose to their building through blueprinting and idea sharing. Their themed programs use LEGO® bricks, K’Nex  and other interactive building toys to engage children and spark their creativity.

2. Children's Museums - Museums aren't the first place you think of when you think educational summer camps, since they're mostly indoors, but they often have some really fun and creatively-themed camps available for school aged children. If you have a membership to the museum you pay be able to get priority registration or even a discount -- don't be afraid to ask!

3. Outdoor Adventure Camps & Classes - We've signed Owen up for a couple outdoor adventure camps over the years. For example he learned to ride his bike at his Lear to Bike camp two years ago and we both enjoyed the hiking class we took together and all of the fun outdoor areas we were able discover.

4. Zoo Camps - Our local zoos offer an amazing and educational approach to summer camps every summer with their day camp adventures! Animal loving campers delve deeper into the science behind wildlife conservation and hands-on experiences.

So what summer camps are you signing up for this year? I'd love to hear all about them in the comments below!

January 10, 2018

Christmas 2017

Hey there, and happy 2018! School is back in session and we're back to our regular routine. We had a lovely Christmas, here's a little look back...

The boy's opened the final door on their Advent calendars (from Trader Joe's) on Christmas Eve right after lunchtime. They begged every morning to open those things. Looking back at all these photos really makes me miss our Christmas decorations, especially seeing all the cute Christmas cards. 

I turned our Christmas card from this year into an ornament using Shutterfly. I'm hoping to make this a tradition so someday I'll have a collection of all our cards.

I hosted some of my girlfriends from high school at our house for our Girls' Christmas party. We've been having these get togethers for 19 years! We eat, drink champagne and do a gift exchange. This year we each brought a nice candle and did the Left-Right Christmas Game to exchange our gifts. Basically, you read a story or poem (see link) and whenever it says "left" or "right" you pass the gift that way. It was a fun way to change things up a bit!

We hung out at home all day on Christmas Eve, baked cookies for Santa, made foods to bring for Christmas Eve and both boys took naps that inevitably made us so late we had to skip Mass. Keith and I were bummed to miss Mass this year, but we were glad the boys were able to get some rest with all the fun that lay ahead of them.

We went to Keith's mom's house with his whole family for Christmas Eve. We played, ate a ton (I made scalloped potatoes which is becoming a tradition for me) and did our gift exchange. We did a Secret Santa exchange with Keith's family this year, which works well since there are SO many of us.

We changed the boys into their Christmas pj's and headed home around 9:30, which is late for them. I thought they would fall asleep in the car but to my surprise they both stayed awake. After the boys were in bed Keith and I played Santa, he assembled the trampoline we gave them and I filled stockings.

In the morning we came down and the boys (especially Owen!) dug into the gifts before we could even suggest starting with the stockings. Owen got a few Nerf guns, a Nerf vest, some action figures and a couple other fun things. Luke got an etch-a-sketch, a toy piano, sand toys and a colorful ball. We had cookies, cinnamon buns, berries and bacon for breakfast and lazed around until it was time to head to my grandpa's house for dinner.

We stayed there until about 8 o'clock and we were all spent, full and exhausted!

I hope you had a lovely holiday!